Gardens

April showers bring May flowers. It’s that time of the year where our gardens are getting planted and flowers are beginning to bloom. The air is becoming more fragrant and our yards are bright and colorful. What a beautiful time of the year! Church gardens are no exception, and Parish Giving is here to help!

Parish Garden

I love looking at pictures of gardens from different church bulletins. The perfectly manicured lawns and the different flowers always flow so nicely together. I especially love when they are able to capture butterflies or bird’s nests. On the same note, their gardens are difficult to keep up with; lots of tending to and money go into them. Why not try one of our online forms for a fundraiser?

We offer different kinds of online forms for raising money, or for flower/plant donations. You can even raise money with our forms for memorial plaques or small statues for loved ones. It’s a small idea that can grow very nicely!

School children

It’s important to teach school children about gardens at a young age. They can learn to appreciate plants, flowers and the creatures that live in it. One of our parishes, Holy Family in Hicksville, NY, demonstrated how to take care of an abandoned robin’s egg. They help create a bird’s nest for it in hopes that the egg will hatch. Teaching them responsibility to help grow and nurture what is growing about them, whether plant or bird helps them grow as adults in the church. They become more caring and loving themselves.

Communities

Some towns and cities have community gardens. Your parish garden should be part of it. Having others tending to it allows it to grow and have different plants throughout the season. This also helps more families and people new to the area adapt to their new home. Why not host a community garden day to help your garden grow in more ways than one?

As you can see gardens are more than just about plants and flowers; it’s about the community and teaching. If you are interested in hosting a community garden day, contact us and we’ll advertise it on our numerous social media platforms – we can even come up with a form for donations too! Parish Giving is here for all of your garden and community needs!

Feel free to send us pictures of your parish garden! We love seeing the flowers blossoming and seeing the different varieties of colors used!

Spring into Savings!

Happy First Day of Spring! Our geese friends Jay and P. are outside honking, we’re taking our allergy medicine each morning because the trees are starting to blossom, and the grey winter sky is starting to turn into a happy blue! Finally, spring is here! That means it is time to spring into savings with Parish Giving! Large Parish, small parish, it doesn’t matter!  You can pick and choose online solutions that work for you.  Continue reading to find out how!

Our Online Forms

Our online forms save your time and energy! How often have you looked through stacks and stacks of paper, or spreadsheet after spreadsheet looking for someone’s payment or demographic information? Although it has worked for a while, why not try our online forms? If you do not like them, then you can go back to your older version. I can almost guarantee that you won’t though!

Religious Education Registration and Payment Solutions

Our Religious Education online registration and payment solutions will allow you to spend more time on your mission of education!  There are two options to pick from:  an online form or a module.  The form is easy!  You decide what registration information you want on the form and we create it.  Your families click on the form link to register and pay.  The module is simplified!  You provide your student information and we upload it into the module where you can assign tuition and classes.  Your families will receive an email to register and pay.

School Tuition Registration and Payment

If you are like me, you have most of your monthly bills automatically taken from your account. I have it set up on my calendar how much comes out on which day so I can account for it beforehand. With certain bills, I like to be able to pay them when I have money. This includes school tuition.

As we all know paying for a parochial school education is a sacrifice a family makes for their children. Sometimes we miscalculate and are off by a couple of dollars from our monthly payment. That usually means a hefty fine if you are late by a day or two waiting for your paycheck. Parish Giving simply does not believe in those extra fees for families. If you need that extra day or two to pay your tuition, we will not charge you an additional fee. It just makes sense.

Another service we provide is not charging for insufficient funds. This is unique to Parish Giving! We know that sometimes you can be off by a dollar or twenty when managing your checkbook, so we do not see the point in punishing you for human error. Instead we charge a flat fee for each family (not per person!) and reach out to families if a payment does not go through. We stay on top of it for both the school and family!

Our Weekly E-Giving

Sometimes we forget our church envelope at home. It happens. That means you have to then mail in your envelope to the church. A stamp now costs $0.55! Why not try Parish Giving’s electronic giving instead? Save the cost of a stamp, and save yourself some time by setting it up to be automatically debited each week.

As you can see Parish Giving is all about Spring and Savings! Give Parish Giving a try and see how much time and money you can save!

Fun Facts about Daylight Saving Time

It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year! Daylight Saving Time! This means winter is ending, and spring is about to begin. The days are longer, we have more sunshine and the winter cobwebs are being swept away. Parish Giving thought since we’re all dusting our cobwebs away that we’d share some fun facts about Daylight Saving! Here are just a few!

Fun Fact #1

We can all thank Ben Franklin – Yes, it’s true. When he was living in France, he noticed how the sun was up at 6am. He thought to himself that if you are up with the sun, and go to bed earlier at night, that you would be saving more energy and save money on candles. I suppose this is another spin on Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Fun Fact #2

Your state is not required to follow Daylight Saving Time – Arizona and Hawaii are two states that do not follow it.

Fun Fact #3

Arizona doesn’t follow Daylight Saving due to extreme heat. They want to preserve the cooler evening hours so people can enjoy time outdoors.

Fun Fact #4

But the Hopi Reservation which is surrounding by the Navajo Nation observes Daylight Saving Time. Always a loophole!

Fun Fact #5

The English first thought of Daylight Saving Time, but the German’s were the ones who implemented it.

Do you have any fun facts about Daylight Saving Time? Feel free to share them with us!

Preparing for Lent

Waking up this morning and I could smell spring trying to emerge. The birds are out chirping, but the weatherman is still predicting another snow storm. March is on the verge of arriving, but we are still stuck in February. This does mean that Lent is around the corner and we should begin to prepare for it. The only thing is how do we prepare for Lent? Well, I have come up with a couple of ways in which we should begin to prepare for the Easter season.

What does my heart and soul need?

This is a question I ask myself daily. All of our hearts and souls need to be nourished differently. For some, it may be daily meditation, and for others, it may be quietly listening. Either way, it should be able to help us focus on the Lenten message. This year’s message is about heart and soul. Pope Francis reminds us that the other person is a gift, sin blinds us, and the Word is a gift. Keep this in mind when you are listening to your heart and soul.

What about my life makes me happy?

We all have things in our lives that make us unhappy. Why don’t we for once focus on what makes us happy? For instance, we should be happy to have our health, a roof over our head and food on the table. There are plenty of people who would love to have one of the items mentioned. Find something about your life that makes you happy and focus on it. Not only will it make your day better, but the positivity can be contagious.

Stop and listen.

This brings all of the Lenten preparation together. Think about what Pope Francis told us about in his message: Lent is a new beginning… and you should be using it to deepen your faith and friendship with Jesus. He is our gift, helps us refrain from sin, and we should live His word.

The best way to Stop and Listen is to attend mass during Lent with a renewed thirst for Jesus. You are being led on how to love and listen which is what the season is all about. Remember, the most important thing is to attend mass, and you are able to give your offering online with Parish Giving. You just worry about listening and worry less about checks, envelopes, and cash. We can take care of that for you.      

How to Rid Yourself of the Winter Blues

Finally, February is here! The shortest month in days, but the longest in winter; February brings the harshest snowstorms and frigid temps leaving us with cabin fever. The most difficult part is coping with the freezing temps and keeping everyone entertained. Here are some ways you can rid yourself of the winter blues.

Get Out There

“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” (Elle Woods, Legally Blonde). One of my favorite movie quotes of all times rings true this time of the year. Yes, many people share the New Year’s Resolution of losing weight and going to the gym, but what you may not realize is that regular exercise DOES make you feel better!

If you are not able to join a gym, consider taking a walk during your lunch hour, or if it’s too cold, take a lap around the building or go up and down flights of stairs. Any type of moving helps with the winter blues, so get out there and take a lap!

Prep your Spring Cleaning

We are all fans of the Marie Kondo show on Netflix here at Parish Giving. She is teaching us how to clean our closets, and clean up our lives. If it doesn’t bring us any joy, we are tossing it. Once your closet is cleaned out, you can dust and donate.

This also applies to items around your house. If you have an old vase collecting dust, or some picture frames without pictures in them, why not put them in a box and donate them to your local Goodwill? Not only are you de-cluttering your life, but you are also helping out those who are not as fortunate.

Eat Healthily

I know, I know… it’s difficult to find good, fresh produce during the middle of winter. Eating healthier will make you feel better. Aim to have either one fruit or one vegetable with each meal. Berries with your breakfast, salad for lunch, and steamed spinach for supper is just an easy way to squeeze in produce. Once spring and summer hit, you’ll be craving seasonal treats like peaches and tomatoes!

Let there be light!

Vitamin D is a necessity. It helps us feel good and feeling good means looking good. With the short winter hours, you may want to invest in a lightbox. You are then able to set the lightbox to act as a sunrise, so you feel as though the sun is rising as you are waking up (as in spring, summer, and fall…).

If this is something that is not in your budget, then try to go outside for a couple of minutes each day. Breathe in the fresh air, and try to do it when the sun is out. Even short bursts of Vitamin D are better than no Vitamin D.

Parish Giving

Yes, Parish Giving is able to help with your winter blues! If you are lucky enough to travel somewhere warm over President’s Day weekend, then remember to use our online giving services to remember your parish. Also, this is not just for when you are on vacation. In case your area is pummeled by snow this month, and your streets are too icy, you can give online and watch mass streaming online. Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?!

Just remember, spring is just a few short weeks away and so is Daylight Savings Time! We’ll be waking up with the sunshine soon enough! Keep warm and stay safe for the remainder of winter!